An interview with Padmashree Dr. Ajai Sonkar

Question 1: When and how did you learn about micro-plastics?

Answer: I set up a tissue-culture laboratory in Prayagraj in 2019 during the corona pandemic, in which I kept the mantle tissue of Andaman sea oysters alive in medium and sent it to the laboratory. During the experiments, I saw an unknown particle in an explant in the flask under the microscope. On analysis, it was found that it was a micron-sized plastic particle. It was scary because it came to the tissue from the blood, and the blood from the food. The oyster is a filter feeder that collects micron and nano-sized phytoplankton by filtering algae from the water, and consumes it as food. For me, this means that the plastic particles that have reached the algae are of nano and micron size, which are reaching the food of the oyster by crossing its filtering process.

Port Blair, June 25: In a resolute demonstration of zero tolerance towards crime, the South Andaman District Police have successfully resolved a series of house burglary cases, resulting in recovery of approx. 600 gms of stolen gold ornaments valued at Rs 40 lakhs and the apprehension of the perpetrator.

Between June 16 and June 21, a spate of house burglaries were reported in Port Blair, leading to 04 FIRs being lodged at Pahargaon and Chatham police stations U/s 457/380 of IPC vide FIR Nos 103/24 dated 16/06/2024, 109/24 & 110/24 dated 21/06/24 at Pahargaon and 38/24 dated 17/06/2024 at Chatham. These incidents occurred during the absence of house owners with their residences being locked from the outside, providing an easy opportunity for the accused to execute the crimes. The burglar targeted jewellery and cash in all instances.

Port Blair, June 25: To commemorate the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, on June 24, 2024, the staff of Anti-Narcotics Police Station arranged an awareness program at the Head Post Office, Port Blair. About 40 personnel attended the session, receiving education on the harmful impacts of drug abuse. Furthermore, they collectively pledged to refrain from drug use.

On June 26th each year, we observe the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, also known as "World Drug Day." Today, I want to share a message of hope and resilience with everyone.

This   year's   theme, "The evidence is clear: invest in prevention," emphasizes the importance of taking proactive steps to fight drug abuse.

Port Blair, June 25: The Andaman Nicobar Territorial Congress Committee President, Shri Rangalal Halder, has addressed a letter to the Health Secretary, A & N Administration regarding the critical issue of the non-operational CT scan machine at GB Pant Hospital.

In his letter, Halder expressed his deep concern over the significant hardships faced by patients due to the non-functional CT scan machine. As a vital piece of diagnostic equipment, its unavailability is causing severe inconvenience to the patients.